Disable all recent file listings in Windows permanently

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 23, 2012
Updated • Oct 23, 2012
Tutorials, Windows, Windows tips

Windows by default not only keeps track of recently opened documents and files generally, but also on a per-application basis. That's at least the case for Windows 7 and newer versions of the operating system that come with jumplist support that may display the last ten files opened with a particular program that is pinned on the taskbar or the start menu of the operating system.

You can clear individual items displayed on a program's jumplist or individual jumplists of programs, but what if you want to disable the generation of recent file listings for all programs that you run on the system? This can be important if you share the computer with other users who use the same account as you, or if you sometimes have other users come over to your computer to work with you on the system.If you do not want them to find out what files or documents you have opened in the past, you may want to disable the recent file history completely to avoid that from happening.

It is actually rather easy to disable the feature. To do just that, right-click a blank space on the taskbar and select Properties from the context menu there. Here you find configuration options for the taskbar, start menu and toolbars. Switch to the start menu tab in the interface and uncheck the "Store and display recently opened items in the Start menu and the taskbar" to disable the recent file history for all programs.

store and display recently opened items

If you want, you can additionally disable the "Store and display recently opened programs in the Start menu" to disable the listing of programs that you worked with recently there as well.

You can use the two options as well to immediately clear the recently opened programs or recently opened items listing in Windows. To do that, uncheck the option, click apply, check it again, and click apply.


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